[Lingtyp] undifferentiated interrogative words

Jan Rijkhoff linjr at cc.au.dk
Thu Aug 20 07:29:27 UTC 2020

Dear Peter,

on this topic see also e.g.

Mackenzie, J. Lachlan. 2009. Content interrogatives in a sample of 50 languages. Lingua 119-8, 1131-1161.

Best, Jan R

J. Rijkhoff - Associate Professor, Linguistics
School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University
Jens Chr. Skous Vej 2, Building 1485-621
DK-8000 Aarhus C, DENMARK
Phone: (+45) 87162143
URL: http://pure.au.dk/portal/en/linjr@cc.au.dk

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of Peter Arkadiev <peterarkadiev at yandex.ru>
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 8:47 PM
To: Linguistic Typology
Subject: [Lingtyp] undifferentiated interrogative words

Dear typologists,

as is well-known, there are many languages lacking a distinction between "animate" and "inanimate" interrogative words (see the doctoral dissertation by Dmitry Idiatov), e.g. Lithuanian "kas" means both 'who' and 'what'. I am wondering if there are any languages where interrogative words don't distinguish between such ontological categories as "place", "time" and "manner", e.g. have a single interrogative word which, depending on the context, can mean "when", "where", "how" and the like.

Many thanks in advance and best regards,


Idiatov, Dmitry. 2007. A Typology of Non-Selective Interrogative Pronominals. PhD Dissertation, Universiteit Antwerpen.

Peter Arkadiev, PhD Hab.
Institute of Slavic Studies
Russian Academy of Sciences
Leninsky prospekt 32-A 119334 Moscow
peterarkadiev at yandex.ru

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